Tunnel Enlargement after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Surgery

Timothy C. Wilson, Anthony Kantaras, Ahmet Atay, Darren L. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

241 Scopus citations


Bone tunnel enlargement has been reported after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery. Although the long-term outcome of this phenomenon is not yet known, tunnel lysis or expansion may be clinically significant in revision surgery because the enlarged tunnels may complicate graft placement and fixation. There any many proposed theories for tunnel lysis. The most accurate statement is that this condition has a multifactorial etiology. Mechanical and biological causes have been reported, and both contribute to enlarged graft tunnels. This article describes the multiple causes of bone tunnel enlargement after ACL surgery. Future techniques and advances in primary ACL surgery must seek to eliminate this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-549
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Bone tunnels
  • Tunnel enlargement
  • Tunnel lysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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